TS-453 Pro dead motherboard

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lord_galathon
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TS-453 Pro dead motherboard

Post by lord_galathon » Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:51 am

I've had two Qnap NAS drives here since late 2014, purchased them for work and am using one mostly for VPN/OpenVPN access and some file backups, the other one was storing some more important files that I had in there as backups of our production files. So even though my unit is a total loss - I have not lost any real data since it was the backup.

Nevertheless I've taken the unit apart and figured out what the issue is and it's appalling how low quality it's all built when considering the purchase cost of this unit at > 700CDN$ without any drives.

What happened?

Out of the blue, and just about a month after warranty was expired on it, I came in one morning and when doing my usual daily overview of my "server" room I saw it was hung on the SYSTEM BOOTING with the >>>>>>>> below it.

I waited a few minutes but I realized quickly enough that something was wrong. I reset the unit, nothing. No POST, no BEEP, nothing more than the SYSTEM BOOTING prompt.

After a quick search I ran a few tests mostly to rule out the PSU, the DOM and a possible RAID/HDD failure.

PSU works fine, I tested with another standard ATX PSU I had laying around after just changing the pinout for the RAID riser using a few extra connectors I have. I got the same result.

The DOM, well, it's impossible to tell because the documentation on this device is non-existant. The unit would show two red HDD LEDs and two green HDD LEDs. Removing the HDDs shows all red LEDs. Removing the DOM shows ONE single red LED. Still at no point do I get a BEEP - EVER.

Tried connecting a keyboard and HDMI monitor to see any POST screen: Nothing. Blank - NO SIGNAL.

I have taken the unit completely apart and tried to boot the motherboard on its own - I mean after all, it IS a computer: Nothing but the green power LED.

Whether I have the RAM in there, the DOM, a DOM USB "dongle" I made using the instructions and bootup firmware I found on this very forum (thank you!) : Still nothing - no BEEP, no POST.

At this point I'm fairly certain the motherboard is dead. Maybe because the engineers used a laughable (passive) heatsink held in place with two (VERY LOOSE) plastic fasteners to cool the CPU and it wound up blowing out. Maybe because electronics do that from time to time.

The mobo has no identifyable marks on it so I can't even get a replacement, and of course it's not offered by Qnap directly as they suggested to just "purchase the newer model." Like I have 900CDN$ in my budget to replace something that was supposed to be durable when I got it.

As a matter of principle I've started recovering the RAID 10 array I had using some recovery software - the HDDs seem ok (4TB WD Red NAS edition) but the time I wasted with this will make me think before dealing with Qnap again in the future. Keep in mind I still have another Qnap NAS I purchased at the same time - a TS-469L that thankfully seems to be chooching properly for now.

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Re: TS-453 Pro dead motherboard

Post by OneCD » Wed Feb 21, 2018 4:22 am

lord_galathon wrote:Maybe because the engineers used a laughable (passive) heatsink held in place with two (VERY LOOSE) plastic fasteners to cool the CPU and it wound up blowing out. Maybe because electronics do that from time to time.

The J1900 has a max TDP of only 10W. Passive cooling is fine. ;)

Unfortunately, it has a BGA socket so can't be easily removed and replaced. Have you inspected the thermal conduction surface? Paste appears evenly spread? Any discoloration?
Last edited by OneCD on Wed Feb 21, 2018 4:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

production NAS: TS-569 Pro with Debian 9.9 'Stretch' (power on/off times are < 1 minute)
backup NAS: TS-559 Pro+ with QTS 4.2.6 #20190730

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Re: TS-453 Pro dead motherboard

Post by Trexx » Wed Feb 21, 2018 4:25 am

Sorry to hear that you had a HW failure. I just recently sold my TS-453Pro which I bought early 2015, so almost the same age as yours.

A potentially cheaper option might be to see if there are any TS-453 Pro's on Ebay/Craigslist/etc, but then you still run the risk that the product is out of warranty in case of a HW failure.

As for your time investment, I guess if this was a critical system after some quick troubleshooting didn't yield an apparent cause, I would have made a determination how critical this system was vs. what my time was worth.

For basic functionality such as VPN, file services/backups even a simple 4-bay ARM based model such as the the TS-431p or TS-431p2 which run $267/$349 US respectively.
Paul

Model: TS-877-1600 FW: 4.4.1.x
QTier (HDD): [RAID-5] 6 x 3TB HGST DeskStar NAS QTier (SSD): [RAID-1] 2 x 1TB WD Blue m.2's
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RAM: Kingston HyperX Fury 64GB DDR4-2666
GPU: EVGA GTX 1060, ACX 2.0(1 Fan), 6GB
UPS: CyberPower AVR1350 Ext. Backup: USB 3.0 Seagate 5TB
Media Boxes: Nvidia ShieldTV Pro, AppleTV 4k, Various Roku's

Model: TVS-673 32GB FW: 4.4.1.x Test/Backup Box
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lord_galathon
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Re: TS-453 Pro dead motherboard

Post by lord_galathon » Wed Feb 21, 2018 4:41 am

OneCD wrote:
lord_galathon wrote:Maybe because the engineers used a laughable (passive) heatsink held in place with two (VERY LOOSE) plastic fasteners to cool the CPU and it wound up blowing out. Maybe because electronics do that from time to time.

The J1900 has a max TDP of only 10W. Passive cooling is fine. ;)

Unfortunately, it has a BGA socket so can't be easily removed and replaced. Have you inspected the thermal conduction surface? Paste appears evenly spread? Any discoloration?


I don't have it against the passive cooling. I have it against the weak springs to hold the heatsink in place. Normally I'm able to pick up a mobo from the CPU heatsink and nothing moves even on a full size ATX mobo. This one is a micro-ITX at best and when I lift by the cooler it's visibly loose. It was probably not leeching enough heat from the CPU.

I will probably wind up dropping the 4 WD Reds into a FreeNAS box of some sort. I can probably make one from a used i7 class HP PC for < 400$.

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Re: TS-453 Pro dead motherboard

Post by OneCD » Wed Feb 21, 2018 4:48 am

lord_galathon wrote:It was probably not leeching enough heat from the CPU.

That's possible. However, that model CPU has a few auto-limiting and shutdown features built-in to prevent overheating.

Checkout the datasheet (pages 74-77): http://www.intel.com/content/dam/www/pu ... asheet.pdf

Did you examine the top of the CPU?

production NAS: TS-569 Pro with Debian 9.9 'Stretch' (power on/off times are < 1 minute)
backup NAS: TS-559 Pro+ with QTS 4.2.6 #20190730

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Re: TS-453 Pro dead motherboard

Post by Briain » Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:01 am

Hi

I have several elderly Qnaps that are all still going strong, so I wouldn't get unduly concerned about your TS-469L.

Obviously, the TS-453 Pro is no longer a current model, but there is actually a page (link below) showing support status for various models - current and retired - and if you look about 2/5 the way down that page, it shows the 'Hardware Repair or Replacement' status for the TS-453 Pro as still being 'Full', so presumably, they can quote for returning it to have a replacement board fitted, of if no spare boards are still available, even quote for swapping it out for an identical model (new, old stock) or perhaps even - for a price that still might be worth considering - swap it for a similar model from the current range of products. Of course, that is just my own interpretation of what that statement likely implies and I have no idea of the pricing structure sitting behind all these potential solutions, but from what's implied by the information on that page, I think it would be worth asking again whether there is a repair option.

https://www.qnap.com/en/product/eol.php

The only problem that I can foresee is that if they know you have pulled it to bits and tried alternative power arrangements (and other tests) then they might not be quite so keen to now attempt a repair (e.g. if it was me handling the issue, I'd be wondering if you had worn an anti-static strap whilst working on it, etc, etc).

Bri
TS-119, 1 X Seagate ~~ TS-219, 2 X Seagate (R1) ~~ TS-453A, 2 X 3 TB WD Red (R1) ~~ TS-659, 5 X 1 TB Hitachi Enterprise (R6)
APC Smart-UPS 750

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Re: TS-453 Pro dead motherboard

Post by trapolino » Fri Feb 23, 2018 8:35 pm

Hi,
I had the very same problem yesterday with a TS-453 Pro purchased back in 2015.
When switching on the NAS, I got the endless message System booting >>>.
Then I removed the disks but the problem was the same.
Then I tried something like 10 or 15 times to reboot it and it finally worked... I don't know the reason why.
Finally I shut it down to see if I could start it again but I got the problem again.
I tried then to switch it on and off for the whole morning and at the end it worked, now it's running properly.
I wonder if it is a firmware problem because I understand that I'm not the only one facing this very same problem.
I already purchased a new NAS because of course I can't rely anymore on this unit.
Fabio

lord_galathon
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Re: TS-453 Pro dead motherboard

Post by lord_galathon » Fri Feb 23, 2018 11:24 pm

Briain wrote:Hi

I have several elderly Qnaps that are all still going strong, so I wouldn't get unduly concerned about your TS-469L.

Obviously, the TS-453 Pro is no longer a current model, but there is actually a page (link below) showing support status for various models - current and retired - and if you look about 2/5 the way down that page, it shows the 'Hardware Repair or Replacement' status for the TS-453 Pro as still being 'Full', so presumably, they can quote for returning it to have a replacement board fitted, of if no spare boards are still available, even quote for swapping it out for an identical model (new, old stock) or perhaps even - for a price that still might be worth considering - swap it for a similar model from the current range of products. Of course, that is just my own interpretation of what that statement likely implies and I have no idea of the pricing structure sitting behind all these potential solutions, but from what's implied by the information on that page, I think it would be worth asking again whether there is a repair option.

https://www.qnap.com/en/product/eol.php

The only problem that I can foresee is that if they know you have pulled it to bits and tried alternative power arrangements (and other tests) then they might not be quite so keen to now attempt a repair (e.g. if it was me handling the issue, I'd be wondering if you had worn an anti-static strap whilst working on it, etc, etc).

Bri


I pretty much narrowed the issue down to the motherboard. :( Which ** on several different levels.

For starters, in my career working IT since 1998 (being an enthousiast prior to that) I've only seen a handful of PC motherboards go bad. Usually they're going to work "forever" until they're obsolete - OR - they will be DOA. Laptop motherboards are a whole different story because of physical wear and tear, heat dissipation, liquids, shocks, static and more.

Relatedly, I managed to access 100% of the files on the RAID10 by using Ubuntu. (I Love Ubuntu!) As I said in my initial post, I had backups but I was missing a few of my media files and the last few months of photos that for some reason I had omitted to backup (but that are all on my Google Photos anyway but they're easier to copy/paste from USB than download and unzip then rename from Google.)

Once I'm confident all the files are safe I'll build a FreeNAS using a standard PC which will have easily interchangeable and readily available parts.

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Re: TS-453 Pro dead motherboard

Post by Briain » Sat Feb 24, 2018 12:37 am

Yes, typically I've found that PC motherboards can last for 12 -15 years, then you start getting problems with things like the smaller electrolytic capacitors expiring (I've fixed one that failed that way, and one of my friends has fixed a few old Gigabyte boards - they were used in Linn Kivor music servers - that had also failed due to the small capacitors expiring - some obvious by bulging - and after changed them all, the boards sprung back to life). Of course, we all know that the 'bath tub' response tends to mean products tend to fail within the first few minutes, or after many years of hassle-free service, but of course, with any electronics, you can just be unlucky and have a failure at any point throughout its life. It is something that I have occasionally pondered, and when you reflect on how things were in the [not to distant] past, it is quite astonishing just how far we have advanced - in terms of electronic device reliability and longevity - over the past few decades.

On the subject of alternative solutions, I had thought of building my own Debian based NAS (possibly even using an old Qnap as I actually think that their hardware is typically very good) and perhaps even installing OpenMediaVault (I built it all up as a VM, just to see what it looked like) but to be honest, for what I require I am quite content with the Qnap firmware build (I only use it as a media server - using the MinimServer QPKG - and as a file store) so it really wouldn't be worth all of the effort (though it would be a fun project to save for a rainy day, so some rainy day I definitely will give it a try, just for the sheer heck of it). :D

I still think you should contact Qnap support to enquire about repair options, though; based upon another situation that I am aware of, I am pretty confident that they will offer to help.

Kind regards,
Bri
TS-119, 1 X Seagate ~~ TS-219, 2 X Seagate (R1) ~~ TS-453A, 2 X 3 TB WD Red (R1) ~~ TS-659, 5 X 1 TB Hitachi Enterprise (R6)
APC Smart-UPS 750

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Re: TS-453 Pro dead motherboard

Post by P3R » Sat Feb 24, 2018 4:53 am

lord_galathon wrote:For starters, in my career working IT since 1998 (being an enthousiast prior to that) I've only seen a handful of PC motherboards go bad.
Well to put that in perspective, in this thread we see a total number of two (2) TS-453 Pro units with possibly failing motherboards. That's much less than a handful but let's assume there are some other threads reporting the same problem, actually making it a handful cases. Then think about that this is a globalQnap user community forum, so we're talking about many thousands of TS-453 Pros still working and not being reported here.
Once I'm confident all the files are safe I'll build a FreeNAS using a standard PC which will have easily interchangeable and readily available parts.
I'm not a Qnap fanboy and I've built and manage several NASes using ZFS running on standard hardware. In my experience the alternatives aren't better, they're only different.

I'm convinced that it's pretty much impossible to build a NAS on standard PC hardware that is as compact, as silent, as performant and as power frugal while still offering hot-swap capability at a lower price and with better quality than Qnap hardware. You can easily do two, maybe three, or even four of those if you're a very good builder but I very much doubt that more than that is possible.

If talking about software, FreeNAS and similar ZFS-software alternatives require more hardware to offer the same performance and they're are way behind on both flexibility and usable features for the average user. If you're an enthusiast that love building and tinker, go ahead. You will love it, but Qnap have a very, very good package for non-expert users. It's also a good enough package for most of us experienced users.

I've managed maybe 50 Qnap and 5 standard PC NASes over the last 10 years. I had one Qnap MB and one Asus MB fail on me. Given that statistics, Qnap is 10 times(!) more reliable than Asus. However I think that my experience is far, far too small to actually be statistically relevant.

Except for the manufacturers themselves (that obviously won't tell us about the percentage of units that fail), I think that only very, very large customers have large enough numbers of units to really have a real clue about quality of different products. All manufacturers of technical equipment have bad model lines but no manufacturer surviving more than a year have a majority of bad products.
Last edited by P3R on Sat Feb 24, 2018 5:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
RAID have never ever been a replacement for backups. Without backups on a different system (preferably placed at another site), you will eventually lose data!

A non-RAID configuration (including RAID 0, which isn't really RAID) with a backup on a separate media protects your data far better than any RAID-volume without backup.

All data storage consists of both the primary storage and the backups. It's your money and your data, spend the storage budget wisely or pay with your data!

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Re: TS-453 Pro dead motherboard

Post by Briain » Sat Feb 24, 2018 5:47 pm

A few years ago, I did actually pondered doing a total home-brew - mostly just for the sheer fun of it - but when I thought it all through, my conclusions were the same as the ones 3PR identified in the above post.

Bri :)
TS-119, 1 X Seagate ~~ TS-219, 2 X Seagate (R1) ~~ TS-453A, 2 X 3 TB WD Red (R1) ~~ TS-659, 5 X 1 TB Hitachi Enterprise (R6)
APC Smart-UPS 750

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Re: TS-453 Pro dead motherboard

Post by lord_galathon » Thu Mar 15, 2018 10:49 pm

FreeNAS is up and running - has been for about two weeks. It's using the same WD Red drives that were in the Qnap. No, the box isn't as "elegant" as it's just running in an "old" 2nd gen core i7 HP tower with 16Gb RAM and booting off a USB flash drive. No it's not hot-swap, this is a backup machine on which daily backups of files are kept, if (when really as we all know...) a drive fails I'll shut it off, swap it and power it back up, rebuild the RAID.

I've sent the Qnap to the recycler.

Overdose87
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Re: TS-453 Pro dead motherboard

Post by Overdose87 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 5:57 pm

Hi have the same problem. Just happened to me 2 days ago. Has anyone got a fix to the motherboard?

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Re: TS-453 Pro dead motherboard

Post by dolbyman » Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:44 pm

unless you are any sort of electronic engineer...doubt there is anything you could do (I mean it could be as simple as a blown fuse or cap) ... but if you were ..you wouldn't ask us :wink:

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Re: TS-453 Pro dead motherboard

Post by brentm » Wed Sep 11, 2019 2:34 am

Add another QNAP TS-453 mini to the list. It was working fine on UPS power until a reboot prior to performing the latest firmware upgrade. After the reboot, no HDMI output, no beep, only a blue light, orange for ethernet (No DHCP address being assigned), and 4 red HD lights. Pulling out all drives and memory, and attempting to reset it leaves it dead as can be. The new power supply for the new NAS didn't help. No beeps and no indication of life other than lights. I ended up purchasing a new 451+ to replace it and HD's are fine but just found it odd that this thing died like it did.

-Brent

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